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Demand for coffee can create ecological, economic rift with poorer nations

The explosion in worldwide coffee consumption in the past two decades has generally not benefitted farmers of coffee beans in poorer nations along the equator.

A University of Kansas (KU) researcher studying trade and globalization has found that the shift to “technified” coffee production in the 1970s and 1980s has created harsher economic and ecological consequences for heavy coffee-producing nations, such as Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Vietnam and Ethiopia.

“Historically, coffee has been exploited by the West in various ways, because it’s consumed in rich countries, and grown in poor ones,” said Alexander Myers, a KU doctoral candidate in sociology.

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